Manypeaks back in the hunt
Manypeaks will get another opportunity to chase an elusive A-grade premiership after again tormenting Mt Barker in the Albany Cricket Association A-grade preliminary final on Sunday.
For the fourth consecutive time against Peaks, the Bulls failed to reach 100 as they were routed for just 76 to hand Peaks an 84-run win and their third grand final appearance in four seasons.
Peaks were forced to progress the long way to the season decider after a one-sided semifinal loss to Railways after a disastrous batting effort, but showed steely resolve with their season on the line.
Peaks recovered from early trouble at 4-46 thanks largely to key all-rounder Warwick Durack (55 from 94 balls), who posted an impressive half-century to keep the innings together as the rain fell throughout the innings.
The persistent rain throughout the day failed to deter either side, but as the ball became harder to handle for the Bulls in the field, Durack found his groove.
Coming to the crease at 3-18, Durack struck only one boundary and brought up his half-century in a match-defining 51-run eighth-wicket partnership with youngster Seb Stanton.
Stanton’s daring 23 from 37 balls gave the Peaks’ innings a vital injection of life as they scored at five runs an over during the final 10 overs to reach 160.
Bulls speedster Jacob Wintle (4-43) eventually removed Durack to wrap up the innings.
The Bulls’ innings began in disastrous fashion when Myles O’Meehan trapped Jason Jones (0) in front and bowled the dangerous Jarrad Gardner (1).
With the Bulls’ grand final hopes resting on the shoulders of captain Jeremy Wood and fellow star batsman Nathan Crosby, the key pair began a cautious rebuild.
A change of pace with the introduction of wily off-spinner Jeremy Stewart brought about Wood’s demise first ball as the Bulls skipper slashed the ball to the hands of Durack at backward point for 12.
While Crosby remained at the crease, the Bulls remained a chance until Broomhall removed his off-stump on 7 and trapped Alex Fergie in front as the Bulls slumped to 5-34.
Broomhall picked up two more wickets to finish with 4-11, while O’Meehan (2-12) and Stewart (2-14) were equally effective in the greasy conditions to earn another grand final place.
Peaks captain Aran Tilbury said the partnership between Durack and Stanton was crucial.
“Getting to 160 in that weather gave us a target we could bowl at and the way we have been bowling, we were confident we could defend that,” he said.
“Waz battled hard to get to 50 and that partnership with Seb got us to 160.”
Bulls captain Jeremy Wood described the loss as another missed opportunity.
“We had them 4-40 and then it continued to rain and it just went downhill from there,” he said.
“The score was very gettable and we just didn’t apply ourselves, we played some poor shots, me included.
“We have probably let an opportunity slip there. They are our bogey side — we just can’t get past 60-80 against them.”
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